HEX broach too big for our manual press

So, we just received the HEX broach from andymark, and it doesn’t fit into our manual 2 ton press.
The Broach is too long, and therefore we cant really use it.

Are there any solutions anyone has for this kind of a problem?
Will cutting the Broach somewhere in the middle, and therefore doing 2 presses every time we make a part work?



Get a larger hydraulic press, trust me. Harbor Freight sells them or Amazon or wherever. It’s worth the investment if you plan on broaching hex.

The other day I learned that the Harbor Freight 12- and 20-ton hydraulic shop presses have a fairly active mod community. Swag Off Road has some cool upgrade kits that you can buy (1, 2).


Cutting a broach is a good way to throw away $200.

If the broach is only a little larger than the press, you might find that if you slot the broach into the hole of the part you want to broach before you put both into the press, the first few teeth in the broach will actually “skip” and the whole thing won’t require as much clearance. Not guaranteed to work (also depends on material and hole tolerance) but something worth trying at least.

A larger press is the ideal approach. You’re not going to find a shorter broach.

We ran into the same problem this year. Our temporary fix was to create a secondary press platform below the one on the press (we have one like this that lets us pass longer material through the bottom of the press.). We’d put the material on the secondary platofrm, press as far as we could go, then the broach would be far enough into the press that we could use the original platform to finish the job.

I hope I described that correctly. Just remember that if you do this, it’s important to make sure your secondary platform is parallel to the original platform so you don’t broach crooked.

That looks pretty much exactly like the one we have.
Could you possible post a picture of the setup you guys made?
We tried it yesterday and realized that the lower platform has to be attached to the press and not to the table where it all sits, otherwise the press just lifts up when broaching.

I keep our broach at work where I have a big enough arbor press. Broaches are very brittle. They need a straight push. The right size press is really the best.

It would help if you could provide more details such as the dimensions of the press and broach. if the dimensions are close, and if you have a lathe with a 4 jaw chuck, you can bore a hole into the ram of your arbor press to fit the back of your broach. I also suggest squaring the bottom of the hole with a modified drill bit or end mill. This and the amount of broach that starts in the part you are going to broach can give you an extra couple of inches.

We have the same issue with the arbor press in our shop. Our solution was to start the broach using our lathe, which allows us to carefully align the broach to the hole and get the broach deep enough to now fit into our press. We try not to put too much load on the tool when it is in the lathe since we don’t want to overload the lathe axially (which would damage the bearing in the lathe).


EDIT: The amount of load we put on the part+tool when they are in the lathe is very small - just enough to start 2-3 teeth of the broach - which is enough for it to then fit in our press.

There is about a 6’’ difference between the gap in the press and the length of the Broach, so it isn’t really close to fitting ATM.

We will try both the Lathe broaching and the lower platform approach and post results here.

I’m in NJ for work and the press is in NH with the team. I’ll see if I can get a team member to post a picture. We have a custom steel stand that our press is bolted to, making things a little easier to attach.

I admit that I have done this, but on a big lathe. Some of Devin’s (another mentor) projects have required far more force but I still can’t recommend doing this.

However the method of driving the Hex Broach, be careful with your fingers. As the broach passes through the part being broached, the tooth next to enter will take skin with it.

Have you been caught broaching in the classroom yet?:wink:

However the method of driving the Hex Broach, be careful with your fingers. As the broach passes through the part being broached, the tooth next to enter will take skin with it.

Have you been caught broaching in the classroom yet?:wink:

Check out this thread for some ratcheting presses that are large enough for a 1/2 hex broach. I have a post on there on how we got the very sloppy Harbor Freight 12 ton shop press to work well with some simple mods. We really do need to find time to make a video of it in action.


We had the same problem when we started using hex. We use one of these for broaching and just about any other press needs…not too big, but plenty of force. There is a floor version as well.

Dake 10 ton press.

Like Anthony said, we have used lathes and mill knees in the past to hex broach. Neither are recommended.

We’ve spent the last few years scouring Craigslist and found a 5 ton/8 ton compound arbor press similar to this: http://www.machine-recycling.com/Separate-Parts/Famco-8-ton-compound-ratchet-type-arbor-press.php6

The travel is plenty and the press is very rigid/square. As a bonus, I’m pretty sure the tool will outlive any of us on the team :stuck_out_tongue:

If you spend long enough looking, you can find a good deal on one. We got ours for $550.


Either bolt the press to a steel frame suitable to support the pressure and put blocks under the work piece when you run out of travel or:

I bought this recently and it works fine for the AndyMark (Dumont) broach:

Mine is currently in my garage on a custom cart made of 2x4 and 3/4 plywood with locking casters. It was lifted with a car engine hoist. Shipping from Ohio took 1.2 days to NJ. The ram has a 1/2" hole in the end and there is a metric set bolt which doubles as a stop when the ram is lifted. Put a longer metric bolt in there and you are all set to broach. Mine has a casting void at the bottom which makes no difference to operation.

Also consider this (see Craig Roys post above):

The advantage of the Dake press is the pressure gauge.
You can use a short ram hydrualic piston from Harbor Freight filled with glycerin as a pressure gauge plate on the previously listed ratcheting arbor press.

Ours fits just barely on our Grizzly arbor press. They don’t sell the exact model we have anymore but judging by the ones they do have, it’s probably a 5-ton. 2-ton is pretty small for broaching 1/2" hex. I’m a big guy, and we’ve broached certain things 1/2" hex (steel) to where I had a 4 foot pipe over the handle and was just about hanging off of that to get it to go. On a two ton press, you’ll struggle with anything more than 6061 aluminum, about 1/2" length through bore.

If you do want to keep your press and use it with longer broaches and things, there’s two things you can do. You can chuck up the arbor in a 4-jaw chuck on a lathe and drill a hole into it, or you can build a custom table for your press, that has a sturdy place for you to set the part below the press.

this is the setup that 319 uses as Ty was explaining it earlier in this thread